3. Prophets Mentioned in the Glorious Quran and Their Stories
3.1. WHAT IS A STORY?
A story is the real, exemplary life story of the prophets mentioned in the Quran.
The following are verses from the Quran related to the issue:
نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ بِمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ وَإِن كُنتَ مِن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ
We do relate unto you the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to you this (portion of the) Quran: before this you too were among those who knew it not.(Yousuf, 12/3).
نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ نَبَأَهُم بِالْحَقِّ إِنَّهُمْ فِتْيَةٌ آمَنُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ وَزِدْنَاهُمْ هُدًى
" We relate to you their story in truth: they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance..." (al-Kahf 18/13)
تَتْرُكْهُ يَلْهَث ذَّلِكَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا فَاقْصُصِ الْقَصَصَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
".... so relate the story; perchance they may reflect " (al-Araf, 7/176).
In another verse, the following is stated:
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِي قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لِّأُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَى وَلَكِن تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ
كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
There is, in their stories instruction for men endued with understanding. It is not a tale invented, but a confirmation of what went before it a detailed exposition of all things, and a Guide and a Mercy to any such as believe (Yousuf, 12/111).
The stories in the Glorious Quran tell us primarily about three meanings:
1- The stories in the Quran traced the events in the past and brought light to them. That meaning also indicates that the stories are historically true.
2- The stories narrate important events in the past.
3- The stories eliminated the insignificant details in the events. They reported only the necessary parts concisely to make people draw lessons.
The first prophet is Hazrat Adam, the last prophet is Hazrat Muhammad.
In a hadith, the number of prophets is reported as 124 thousand. 315 of them are rasuls.1
The names of 25 prophets are mentioned in the Glorious Quran. It is disputable whether Uzair (Ezra), Luqman and Dhul-qarnain, whose names are mentioned in the Quran, are prophets. According to some scholars, they are prophets. According to others, they are not prophets but selected slaves of Allah, walis.
The prophets mentioned in the Glorious Quran are as follows chronologically:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا
O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;― fear Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and (reverence) the wombs (that bore you): for Allah ever watches over you (an-Nisa, 4/1).
Hazrat Adam, who was given ten pages by Allah, is the first man and first prophet.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَى آَدَمَ وَنُوحًا وَآَلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَآَلَ عِمْرَانَ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ
Allah did choose Adam and Noah the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran above all people (Aal-e-Imran, 3/33).
وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِدْرِيسَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقًا نَبِيًّا وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَانًا عَلِيًّا
Also mention in the Book the case of Idris: he was a man of truth (and sincerity), (and) a prophet: And We raised him to a lofty station. (Maryam, 19/56-57).
Most of the artisans regard a prophet as their patron. For instance, Hazrat Nooh (PBUH) is the patron for sailors, Hazrat Yousuf (PBUH) for watchmakers and Hazrat Idris (PBUH) for tailors.
He is reported to be the first person to write with pen and to teach to plan and set up cities. Although he is said to have been born in Egypt, he probably lived in Babel.
3. Hazrat Nooh
Hazrat Nooh, is the first of the great prophets. Hazrat Nooh is mentioned in many verses in the Glorious Quran with his struggle with deniers and his story about the deluge. In addition, the 71st chapter of the Quran was named after him. One of the verses that mentions him is as follows:
وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَلَبِثَ فِيهِمْ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ إِلَّا خَمْسِينَ عَامًا فَأَخَذَهُمُ الطُّوفَانُ وَهُمْ ظَالِمُونَ
We (once) sent Noah to his people, and he tarried among them a thousand years less fifty: but the Deluge overwhelmed them while they (persisted in) sin. (al-Ankaboot, 29/14).
This verse, which is one of the most laconic and eloquent verses of the Quran, summarizes the deluge in a few sentences:
وَقِيلَ يَا أَرْضُ ابْلَعِي مَاءَكِ وَيَا سَمَاءُ أَقْلِعِي وَغِيضَ الْمَاءُ وَقُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ وَاسْتَوَتْ عَلَى الْجُودِيِّ وَقِيلَ بُعْدًا لِلْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
When the word went forth: "O earth! swallow up your water, and O sky! withhold (your rain)!" and the water abated, and the matter was ended. The Ark rested on Mount Judi, and the word went forth: "Away with those who do wrong!" (Hood, 11/44).
وَإِلَى عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُودًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ
To the Ad people, (We sent) Hood one of their (own) brethren: he said: "O my people! worship Allah! you have no other god but Him. Will yet not fear (Allah)?" (al-Araf, 7/65).
The people of the nation of Ad were strong. They had built high and strong buildings. They were destroyed through a violent wind because they did not obey Hazrat Hood. The Quran reports it as follows:
وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ
And the `Ad― they were destroyed by a furious wind, exceedingly violent (Haaqqa, 69/6).
وَإِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُمْ بَيِّنَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ هَذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ آَيَةً فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِي أَرْضِ اللَّهِ وَلَا تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
To the Thamud people (We sent) Saleh one of their own brethren: he said: "O my people! Worship Allah; you have no other god but Him. Now has come unto you a clear (sign) from your Lord! This she-camel of Allah is a sign unto you: so leave her to graze in Allah's earth and let her come to no harm, or you shall be seized with a grievous punishment. (al-Araf, 7/73).
The nation of Thamud was destroyed by a violent sound and quake because they disobeyed Allah by slaughtering the camel that was given to them as a miracle. In another verse, God Almighty states the following:
فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَعَقَرُوهَا فَدَمْدَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ بِذَنْبِهِمْ فَسَوَّاهَا
Then they rejected him (as a false prophet), and they hamstrung her. So their Lord, on account of their crime, obliterated their traces and made them equal (in destruction, high and low)! (ash-Shams, 91/14).
In another verse, the sequel of that nation is indicated as follows:
فَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِالطَّاغِيَةِ
But the Thamud― they were destroyed by a terrible storm of thunder and lightning! (al-Haaqqa, 69/5).
6. Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham)
He is one of the prophets that is mentioned the most in the Glorious Quran. His struggle of oneness (tawheed) is often emphasized. He is the second of the great prophets. In addition, he is the only prophet that is loved and respected by all of the members of the three divine religions. He is famous for being khalilullah (friend of Allah) and his generosity. Two of the verses that praise him and his religion are as follows:
وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقًا نَبِيًّا
Also mention in the Book (the story of) Abraham: he was a man of Truth, a prophet (Maryam, 19/41).
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ وَاتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَاتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلًا
Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in faith? For Allah did take Abraham for a friend. (an-Nisa, 4/125).
Hazrat Ibrahim was born in Babel. All of the people in his nation, including his father, were idolaters. He started to struggle against idolatry when he was very young. Once he broke the idols and put the axe over the neck of the biggest idol when everybody went out of the city for a ceremony. When he was asked Who did it to our gods?, he showed the biggest idol and said, that biggest idol did it. Thus, he made them think. Then, they wanted to throw him into the fire, however, as a miracle Allah made the fire cool and safe for him.2
In another verse, it is stated that he discussed with Namrud and silenced and astonished him with the evidence he put forward about the existence of Allah.3
Hazrat Ibrahim married Sara (Sarah). At first, she did not have any children, so he married Hazrat Hajar (Hagar). Hazrat Hajar gave birth to Hazrat Ismaeel (Ishmael); Then Hazrat Sara gave birth to Hazrat Ishaq (Isaac).4
He went to Makkah after Palestine, Egypt and Syria. There he built the Kaaba with his son Ismaeel. Upon the command of Allah, he wanted to sacrifice (slay) his son Hazrat Ismaeel in Mina; he himself and his son passed that test and obtained the pleasure of Allah.5
The grave of Hazrat Ibrahim is in a place called Khalilurrahman near Quds (Jerusalem). Deeds like reciting khutbah (sermon), circumcision, cutting nails were first done by Hazrat Ibrahim.
In the Quran, the Prophet is told Tell them the story of Ibrahim and the story of Ibrahim (PBUH) is narrated as follows: Ibrahim (PBUH) tells his nation;
- What do you worship? He asked. They said;
- We worship idols and we shall continue to worship them. Hazrat Ibrahim said;
- All right, do they hear you when you beg them? Or do they do you good or harm? They said:
- No, but we found our fathers doing so. Ibrahim said;
- "Do you then see whom you have been worshipping― "You and your fathers before you?" For they are enemies to me; not so the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds; Who created me, and it is He Who guides me; Who gives me food and drink. And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me, Who will cause me to die, and then to live (again); "And Who, I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Judgment Then, he begged Allah as follows:
- O my Lord! Bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous; Grant me honorable mention on the tongue of truth among the latest (generations); Make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss; Forgive my father, for that he is among those astray; And let me not be in disgrace on the Day when (men) will be raised up― The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail.6
The lesson Hazrat Ibrahim taught his nation
There was a religious ceremony that the nation of Hazrat Ibrahim held and everybody took part in. They invited Hazrat Ibrahim to that ceremony. However, with the excuse that he was ill, he did not take part in the ceremony. There was nobody else in the city. Taking advantage of their absence, Hazrat Ibrahim broke all of the idols to pieces except the biggest one, with an axe, and put the axe over the neck of the biggest idol.7
When the keeper of the temple returned, he was astonished to see what had happened; he informed the people about it. The people gathered in the temple, called Hazrat Ibrahim, and asked him;
- Did you do it to our gods, O Ibrahim. Hazrat Ibrahim said;
- Maybe the biggest one (the one with the axe over its neck) did it. Ask them if they can speak. Then they said to themselves; you are the cruel ones. That is, they blamed each other because they left the idols alone and unguarded. However they said to Hazrat Ibrahim;
- You know very well that they do not speak. Hazrat Ibrahim said;
- Do you then worship, besides Allah, things that can neither be of any good to you nor do you harm? Fie upon you and upon the things that you worship besides Allah! have you no sense?.8 Some of the people said;
- Burn him and protect your gods if you do (anything at all)!.9
Meanwhile, the people in the palace were informed about what had happened. They took Hazrat Ibrahim before Namrud. They discussed the issue from the beginning. Hazrat Ibrahim told Namrud that Allah was existent and that He was unique (one), that the idols could do no good or harm to anyone. Then, Namrud said he was a god. Hazrat Ibrahim opposed it. Hazrat Ibrahim said that he was a human being and that he could not be a god. Then Namrud asked him;
- Tell me, who is your Lord? Hazrat Ibrahim said;
- My Lord is He Who gives life and death. Namrud said;
- I give life and death. Then, Namrud sent for two people in the dungeon. He ordered one of them to be killed and he freed the other. Then, he turned to Hazrat Ibrahim and said;
- You saw it. I gave life and death too. Then Hazrat Ibrahim said;
- It is Allah that causes the sun to rise from the East: do you then cause it to rise from the West. Then, Namrud was appalled; he was confounded by something that he did not expect.10
Then Namrud ordered that Hazrat Ibrahim would be burned. First, they put Hazrat Ibrahim in the dungeon. Then, they built a high structure with thick walls in an open area. They made a big fire there and invited the people there.11
They threw Hazrat Ibrahim into it. Then Almighty God said to the fire:
قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ :
وَأَرَادُوا بِهِ كَيْدًا فَجَعَلْنَاهُمُ الْأَخْسَرِينَ
We said "O Fire! Be thou cool, and (a means of)) safety for Abraham!" Then they sought a stratagem against him: but We made them the ones that lost most! (al-Anbiya, 21/68-70).
Here, God Almighty showed a miracle of a prophet of His by not burning Hazrat Ibrahim in the fire. Thus, God Almighty taught us a lesson that fire did not burn on its own that it would not burn if He did not let. We see something similar in the world. Fine and thin leaves like cigarette paper do not catch fire in spite of the suns scorching heat.
One of the stories of Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) is his discussion with his nation about gods. He saw the stars, the moon and the sun and told them that they rose and set therefore those rising and setting things could not be gods. He told his nation that he believed that Allah was unique (one) that he turned towards Allah that his Lord had power and ability to do anything that He created the heavens and the earth and that he was not a polytheist.12
7. Hazrat Loot
Hazrat Loot is the son of Aaron, Hazrat Ibrahims brother. He was sent as a prophet to the people of Sodom who started the practice of homosexuality for the first time. They were destroyed totally, because they did not obey Hazrat Loot and went on that disgusting deed. The following is stated in the verse about it:
وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُمْ بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِنْ دُونِ النِّسَاءِ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُسْرِفُونَوَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلَّا أَنْ قَالُوا أَخْرِجُوهُمْ مِنْ قَرْيَتِكُمْ إِنَّهُمْ أُنَاسٌ يَتَطَهَّرُونَ فَأَنْجَيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ إِلَّا امْرَأَتَهُ كَانَتْ مِنَ الْغَابِرِينَ وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ مَطَرًا فَانْظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ
We also (sent) Loot: he said to his people: "Do you commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For you practise your lusts on men in preference to women: you are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds." And his people gave no answer but this: they said "Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!" But We saved him and his family except his wife: she was of those who lagged behind. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime! (al-Araf, 7/80-84).
8. Hazrat Ismaeel (Ishmael)
He is the son of Hazrat Ibrahim born of Hazrat Hajar (Hagar). The ancestry of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) goes back to him. He is famous for his obedience and steadiness when his father wanted to sacrifice (slay) him for Allah. The following is stated in the Quran regarding it:
فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَى فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانْظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَى قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ سَتَجِدُنِي إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ
فَلَمَّا أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ وَنَادَيْنَاهُ أَنْ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ الْبَلَاءُ الْمُبِينُ وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآَخِرِينَ
Then when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer you in sacrifice: now see what is your view!" (The son) said: "O my father! do as you are commanded: you will find me if Allah so wills one practicing Patience and Constancy!" So when they had both submitted (to Allah), and He had laid Him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice) We called out to him "O Abraham! You have already fulfilled the dream!"― thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial― And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice: And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times (as-Saaffat, 37/102-108).
9.Hazrat Ishaq (Isaac)
He is the second son of Hazrat Ibrahim, after Hazrat Ismaeel. His mother is Hazrat Sara. He was sent as a prophet to people living in Damascus and Palestine. There were a lot of prophets in his descent. The following is stated in the Quran:
قُولُوا آَمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
Say you: "We believe, in Allah and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismaeel Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes and that given to Moses and Jesus and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord we make no difference between one and another of them and we bow to Allah (in Islam)." (al-Baqara, 2/136).
10. Hazrat Yaqoob (Jacob)
He is the grandson of Hazrat Ibrahim, coming from Hazrat Ishaq. His nickname is Israel and he lived in Palestine. He had twelve sons. A Jewish tribe comes from the descent of each one of his sons. The advice of Hazrat Yaqoob to his son is quoted as follows in the Quran:
...Then, Behold, he said to his sons: "What will you worship after me?" They said: "We shall worship your God and the God of your fathers―of Abraham Ishmaeel and Isaac,―the one (true) God to Him we bow (in Islam)."(al-Baqara, 2/133).
11. Hazrat Yousuf (Joseph)
He is one of the 12 sons of Hazrat Yaqoob and the most handsome one in creation. His exemplary story that started with a dream is narrated in detail Chapter Yousuf in the Quran named after him.
This verse shows that he is a prophet:
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آَتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
When Joseph attained his full manhood, We gave him power and knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right (Yousuf, 12/22).
12. Hazrat Ayub (Job)
He is one of the grandsons of Hazrat Ishaq. He was sent as a prophet to the region of Damascus during the time of Hazrat Yousuf. He had children and a lot of properties and estates. While he was leading a life like that and thanking Allah, Allah first took his properties and estates then his children with some misfortunes and then gave him an illness. Thus, Hazrat Ayub was put under a hard test but he faced that test with patience and thanking. His patience is still used as an idiom since he was patient against misfortunes. When his illness prevented him from mentioning and glorifying Allah, he prayed Allah.
His prayer is stated as follows in the Quran:
And (remember) Job, when he cried to his Lord "Truly distress has seized me But You are the Most Merciful of those that are merciful. (al-Anbiya, 21/83).
His prayer was answered by Allah and he recovered his health and then his previous bounties. That issue is stated as follows in the Quran:
وَاذْكُرْ عَبْدَنَا أَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الشَّيْطَانُ بِنُصْبٍ وَعَذَابٍ ارْكُضْ بِرِجْلِكَ هَذَا مُغْتَسَلٌ بَارِدٌ وَشَرَاب وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُمْ مَعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِنَّا وَذِكْرَى لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
Commemorate Our servant Job, Behold he cried to his Lord: "The Evil One has afflicted me with distress and suffering"! (The command was given:) "Strike with your foot: here is (water) wherein to wash, cool and refreshing and (water) to drink." And We gave him (back) his people and doubled their number― as a Grace from Ourselves, and a thing for commemoration, for all who have Understanding. (Sad, 38/41-43).
The stories of prophets, that is, what they experienced do not concern only their times and their people, all of the nations that will come till the Day of Judgment have something to learn from them. For instance, the lesson that people who live today will draw from the story of Hazrat Ayub is indicated as follows:
Corresponding to the outer wounds and sicknesses of Hazrat Ayub, we have inner sicknesses of the spirit and heart. If our inner being was to be turned outward, and our outer being turned inward, we would appear more wounded and diseased than Job. For each sin that we commit and each doubt that enters our mind, inflicts wounds on our heart and our spirit.
The wounds of Hazrat Ayub (PBUH) were of such a nature as to threaten his brief worldly life, but our inner wounds threaten our infinitely long everlasting life. We need the supplication of Hazrat Ayub thousands of times more than he did himself.
Just as the worms that arose from his wounds penetrated to his heart and tongue, so too the wounds that sin inflicts upon us and the temptations and doubts that arise from those wounds will penetrate our inner heart, the seat of belief, and thus wound belief. Penetrating too the spiritual joy of the tongue, the interpreter of belief, they cause it to shun in revulsion the remembrance of God, and reduce it to silence.
Sin, penetrating to the heart, will blacken and darken it until it extinguishes the light of belief. Within each sin is a path leading to unbelief. Unless that sin is swiftly obliterated by seeking God's pardon, it will grow from a worm into a snake that gnaws on the heart.
Some examples that sins lead to unbelief: For example, a man who secretly commits a shameful sin will fear the disgrace that results if others become aware of it. Thus, the existence of angels and spirit beings will be hard for him to endure, and he will long to deny it, even on the strength of the slightest indication.
Similarly, one who commits a major sin deserving of the torment of Hell, will desire the non-existence of Hell wholeheartedly, and whenever he hears of the threat of Hell-fire, he will dare to deny it on the strength of a slight indication and doubt, unless he takes up in protection the shield of repentance and seeking forgiveness.
For instance, the laziness of a man, in fulfilling his obligation, who does not perform the obligatory prayer and does not fulfill his duty of worship will distress him greatly. On account of that distress, he will desire and say to himself: "Would that there were no such duty of worship!" In turn, there will arise from that desire a desire to deny God, and bear enmity toward Him. If some doubt concerning the existence of the Divine Being comes to his heart, he will be inclined to embrace it like a conclusive proof. A wide gate to destruction will be opened in front of him.13
If the trouble caused by the duty of worship for a man who stops worshipping is like the bite of a gnat, then the spiritual troubles that will be caused by disobedience in the world and the torment of Hell he will undergo are terrifying like the bite of a snake.
As in the examples above, if sins are not repented, they will affect, blacken and toughen the heart until the light of belief is extinguished. This state is stated as follows in a verse:
But on their hearts is the stain of the (ill) which they do (al-Mutaffifin, 83/14)
وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِدْرِيسَ وَذَا الْكِفْلِ كُلٌّ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ وَأَدْخَلْنَاهُمْ فِي رَحْمَتِنَا إِنَّهُمْ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
And (remember) Ismaeel, Idris and Dhul Kifl, all (men) of constancy and patience; We admitted them to Our Mercy: for they were of the Righteous ones. (al-Anbiya, 21/85-86).
وَاذْكُرْ إِسْمَاعِيلَ وَالْيَسَعَ وَذَا الْكِفْلِ وَكُلٌّ مِنَ الْأَخْيَارِ
And commemorate Ismaeel, Elias, and Dhul Kifl: each of them was of the company of the Good. (Sad, 38/48).
وَإِلَى مَدْيَنَ أَخَاهُمْ شُعَيْبًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُمْ بَيِّنَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ فَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ وَلَا تَبْخَسُوا النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءَهُمْ وَلَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلَاحِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ
To the Madyan people We sent Shuaib, one of their own brothers: he said: "O my people! Worship Allah; You have no other god but Him. Now has come unto you a clear (sign) from your Lord! Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due; and do no mischief on the earth after it has been set in order: that will be best for you, if you have Faith (al-Araf, 7/85).
Hazrat Shuaib gave some very good advice to the people of the cities Madyan and Ayka. However, those atheist, immoral and thieving people did not take the advice that was given to them. They did not give up their bad deeds. Eventually, the people of Ayka were eliminated after a period of seven days with intense heat and then a rain of fire from a cloud. As for the people of Madyan, they were destroyed by the sound of a torment and an earthquake.
15. Musa (Moses)
He was given one of the four great divine books, Torah. Hazrat Musas father is Imran. His ancestry goes back to Hazrat Yaqoob, Hazrat Ishaq and Hazrat Ibrahim. He is the third of the Great Prophets. His life, his struggle with the Pharaoh and his story are narrated repeatedly in many verses. Therefore, he is one of the mostly mentioned prophets in the Quran.14
Hazrat Musa was born in spite of the precautions like killing the newborn male children taken by the Pharaoh; besides, he was fostered in the Pharaohs palace by sucking the milk of his real mother.
His brother, Hazrat Haroon (Aaron), was appointed as an assistant prophet. They both went to the Pharaoh upon the command of Allah to call him to the oneness of Allah, they also wanted the Pharaoh to stop torturing sons of Israel and let sons of Israel go with them.15
However, the Pharaoh did not heed what Hazrat Musa said despite seeing his miracles and did not give up the claim of being a god. He gathered together all of his skilled magicians to defeat Hazrat Musa; he got very angry when his magicians believed in Allah as a result of their defeat and cut off their hands and feet on opposite sides and executed them.16
When Hazrat Musa took the sons of Israel with him and went away, the Pharaoh immediately followed them with his soldiers. Just as he was about to catch them, Hazrat Musa was ordered by Allah Strike the sea with your stick when Hazrat Musa saw the Red Sea in front of him; he struck and the sea opened up. After sons of Israel crossed the Red Sea and stepped on land, the Pharaoh and his soldiers, who were following them, were drowned in the sea.17
Hazrat Musas life after the exodus was a struggle for correcting and improving his nation and striving against his unruly people. His nation, which was granted great bounties, did not accede to improve their behavior fully, and they were always condemned to derogation. Since they were inclined to go astray in the slightest opportunity, they did not obey Hazrat Haroon and started to worship the golden calf that Samiri made just after Hazrat Musa went to Mount Sinai.18
Sons of Israel were shaded by a cloud in the desert; they were fed by manna and quail miraculously by divine power easily. Hazrat Musa wanted to take them to the Holy Land. However, since they avoided taking part in the war, they were punished to wander in the desert for forty years. Thus, after a new generation arose, Yusha Bin Nun, according to a sound view, was able to take them to the Holy Land.19
16.Hazrat Haroon (Aaron)
He is Hazrat Musas brother. Upon Hazrat Musas prayer, he was appointed as a prophet to help Hazrat Musa. The following is stated in the Glorious Quran regarding Hazrat Haroon:
And give me a Minister from my family, Aaron, my brother; Add to my strength through him, And make him share My task: That we may celebrate Your praise without stint, And remember You without stint: For You are He that (ever) regards us." (Allah) said: "Granted is your prayer, O Moses!" (Taha, 20/29-36).
17. Hazrat Dawood (David)
He is from the descent of Hazrat Yaqoobs son, Yahuda. He was sent to sons of Israel as both a prophet and a ruler. He was given Psalms, one of the four great books. His name is mentioned in several places in the Quran. In a verse about him, the following is stated: And it is your Lord that knows best all beings that are in the heavens and on earth: We did bestow on some Prophets more (and other) gifts than on others: and We gave to David (the gift of) the Psalms. (al-Isra, 17/55).
A verse informs that birds and mountains bowed to Hazrat Dawood stating the following:
...it was Our power that made the hills and the birds celebrate Our praises with David: it was We Who did (these things)... (al-Anbiya, 21/79).
Hazrat Dawood had a wonderful voice. When he recited the Psalms, the listeners had spiritual pleasures. He softened iron with his hands like wax as a miracle and made armors out of iron. He earned a living through his own hands. He did not want to take money from the Treasury.
18. Sulaiman (Solomon)
He is Hazrat Dawoods son. He was both a prophet and a ruler like his father. Apart from his story regarding the queen of Saba, his name is mentioned in several verses. One of them is as follows:
(It was Our power that made) the violent (unruly) wind flow (tamely) for Solomon, to his order, to the land which We had blessed: for We do know all things. (al-Anbiya, 21/81).
Hazrat Sulaiman could understand the language of birds and their desires as a miracle. His domination was valid for men, jinn and even winds. He had some writings about ethics and wisdom. He died at the age of fifty-three or sixty after a forty-year of magnificent rule.20
19. Elias (Elijah)
He is one of the prophets sent to sons of Israel. Almighty God states the following regarding the issue: And Zakaria and Yahya and Eesa and Elias: all in the ranks of the Righteous (al-Anaam, 6/85).
Elias is a blessed prophet sent to sons of Israel. Sons of Israel began to worship idols after Hazrat Sulaiman. They did not obey Hazrat Elias, who was sent to them by Allah as a mercy. They drove him out of their land. However, consequently, they underwent famine; they repented. They sought Hazrat Elias and found him. They obeyed him for some time but then they started to disobey him again.
20. Hazrat Alyasa (Elisha)
He is a prophet sent to sons of Israel. The following is stated in the Quran:
And commemorate Ismaeel, Alyasa, and Dhul Kifl: each of them was of the company of the Good( Sad, 38/48).
21. Hazrat Younus (Jonah)
Hazrat Younus is from sons of Israel. He was sent as a prophet to the people of Nineveh, the capital city of Assyrian State, whose remains are now located near the city of Mosul, Iraq. The people of Nineveh, who worshipped idols, did not obey Hazrat Younus, who gave them advice for thirty-three years.
God Almighty told Hazrat Younus that He was going to send a disaster to that nation. Hazrat Younus informed his nation about it but they went on worshipping idols. Then, Hazrat Younus left Nineveh without taking permission from Allah before that disaster. He went to the banks of the river Tigris. He wanted to get on a ship and go somewhere. However, the ship did not move. He said he was the cause of it because he left his nation without taking permission from Allah and told them to throw him into the sea. The people on board said they could decide about the person to be thrown into the sea by drawing lots. Younuss name was drawn. The captain did not accept it. Drawing lots was repeated three times. Each time, Younuss name was drawn. Finally, they threw it into the sea. He was swallowed by a big fish at once. Hazrat Younus prayed Allah in the stomach of the fish as follows:
"La ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minazzalimin There is no god but You, You are far exalted and above all weaknesses, and I was indeed the wrongdoer,". He went on praying like that. After a while, the fish vomited out Younus, by the permission of Allah, and threw him to the shore.21
The story that mentions how Hazrat Younus was saved by glorifying Allah from the stomach of the fish is narrated as follows in the Glorious Quran:
So also was Jonah among those sent (by us). When he ran away (like slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden. He (agreed to) cast lots, and he was condemned: Then the big Fish did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame. Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified Allah, He would certainly have remained inside the Fish till the Day of Resurrection. But We cast him forth, on the naked shore in a state of sickness And We caused to grow, over him a spreading plant of the Gourd kind. And We sent him (on a mission) to a hundred thousand (men) or more. And they believed; so We permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while. (as-Saaffat,139-148).
The following message can be taken by the people living today from the story of Hazrat Younus (PBUH):
Now people today are in a situation one hundred times more awesome than the situation of Hazrat Younus (PBUH) in the stomach of the fish. Their night is their future. The life in the future is a hundred times darker and more fearful than his night due to their unawareness. Their sea is this spinning globe. Each wave of this sea, that is, each time the earth turns round on its own axis, bears on it thousands of corpses. That sea is a thousand times more frightening than his sea. The evil desires of mans soul are the fish that swallowed him. Those evil desires strive to shake and destroy the foundation of his eternal life. The evil desires of his soul are a thousand times more maleficent than his fish because his fish could destroy a hundred-year lifespan. The evil desires of mans soul seek to destroy a life lasting hundreds of millions of years. So, that is the true state of man. Then, man should follow the example of Hazrat Younus (PBUH), avert himself from all causes, and take refuge directly in the Causer of Causes, that is, our Sustainer and recite the following prayer;
كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ أَن لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّ
There is no god but You: Glory to You: I was indeed wrong (al-Anbiya, 21/87).
All of the events that interest the future of man are carried out by Allah. It is He Who knows all of the needs of man and Who will meet his needs and Who will satisfy the desire to live eternally by creating the hereafter.22
22. Hazrat Zakaria (Zacharias)
He is a great prophet from the descent of Hazrat Sulaiman. Hanna, the sister of Isha, who is Hazrat Zakarias wife, gave birth to a female child called Maryam from her husband Imran. The following is stated in the Quran about the vow Hanna made beforehand:
Behold! a woman of Imran said: "O my Lord! I do dedicate into You what is in my womb for Your special service so accept this of me! for You hear and know all things." (Aal-e-Imran, 3/35).
As it is stated in the verse, Hanna gave her daughter to the service of Bayt al-Maqdis. Hazrat Zakaria (PBUH) took Maryam to her aunt, Isha. After growing up at her aunts, Maryam was engaged in praying in a private room allocated to her in Bayt al-Maqdis. That pure and chaste girl became pregnant as a powerful and wise work of Allah without meeting any man. She gave birth to Hazrat Eesa (Jesus).
The Jews became suspicious because Hazrat Eesa was born without a father. They said, A child cannot be born without a father. However, they believed that Hazrat Adam was created without a father and a mother. The birth of Hazrat Eesa was a miracle of Allah. They slandered Hazrat Zakaria by saying that the childs father was him and martyred him at a very old age.
23. Hazrat Yahya (John)
He is Hazrat Zakarias son. He is of the same age as Hazrat Eesa. He practiced the Shariah (laws) of Hazrat Musa before the Gospel was sent. After Hazrat Eesa was given the Gospel, he was appointed to practice the Shariah of Hazrat Eesa (PBUH).
The chief of sons of Israel, Hiradus, wanted to marry his brothers daughter in accordance with the Shariah of Hazrat Musa. However, Hazrat Yahya said it would not be permissible any longer in accordance with the Shariah of Hazrat Eesa. Then, that innocent prophet was martyred by the chief when he was about 30 years old.
24. Hazrat Eesa (Jesus Christ)
He is the fourth of the great prophets. Hazrat Eesa is Hazrat Maryams son. It is a miracle that he was born without a father. Therefore, his birth is likened to that of Hazrat Adam in the Glorious Quran. The following is stated in the verse regarding it:
This similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam: He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be" and he was. (Aal-e-Imran, 3/59).
Allah, Who created Hazrat Adam out of dust without a father and mother, created Eesa without a father. The verse quoted above indicates that Hazrat Maryam was chaste apart from expressing the eternity of the power of Allah. The following is stated in the Quran regarding it:
Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: "I seek refuge from you to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if you do fear Allah." He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from your Lord (to announce) to you the gift of a holy son." She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" He said: "So (it will be): your Lord said `That is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us': it is a matter (so) decreed." So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: she cried (in her anguish): "Ah! would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-free): "Grieve not! for your Lord has provided a rivulet beneath thee; "And shake towards yourself the trunk of the palm-tree: it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. "So eat and drink and cool (your) eye. And if you do see any man say `I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.' " At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). they said: "O Mary! truly an amazing thing have you brought! "O sister of Aaron! your father was not a man of evil, nor your mother a woman unchaste!" But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?" He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He has given me revelation and made me a prophet; "And He has made me Blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; "(He) has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable (Maryam, 19/16-32).
The Jews, who saw that miracle, avoided punishing Hazrat Maryam. When Hazrat Eesa became thirty years old, he received the Gospel and the duty of prophethood. He called the Jews to the straight path and gave them good advice. He showed the great miracles. However, very few people believed in him. Those people who believed in him are called disciples. According to a narration, they were twelve people.
Eventually, the Jews decided to kill Hazrat Eesa. They hanged a man whom they mistook for Hazrat Eesa in the center of execution in Quds (Jerusalem). Hazrat Eesa was ascended to the heaven by the command and power of Allah. There, he changed into the shape of an angel. Upon the will of Hazrat Eesa, his disciples went to the different parts of the earth and tried to propagate his religion.
25. Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH)
His name is mentioned in the Glorious Quran once as Ahmad and four times as Muhammad. Unlike other prophets, he is the last prophet and his prophethood is universaL.23
The following is stated in verse regarding it:
مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِنْ رِجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِنْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا
Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things. (al-Ahzab, 33/40).
In another verse, it is stated that Hazrat Muhammad was sent for giving people glad tidings:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
We have not sent thee but as a (Messenger) to men, giving them Glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not. (Saba, 34/28).
A verse indicates that he addresses all men as follows:
قُلْ أَيُّ شَيْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَادَةً قُلِ اللَّهُ شَهِيدٌ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآَنُ لِأُنْذِرَكُمْ بِهِ وَمَنْ بَلَغَ
Say: "What thing is most weighty in evidence?" Say: "Allah is Witness between me and you: this Qur'an has been revealed to me by inspiration that I may warn you and all whom it reaches. (Enam, 6/19).
1Ahmed b. Hanbel, V, 226.
3Al-Baqara 2/ 258.
4Hood 11/69-77;Ibrahim 14/35-41.
5Al-Baqara 2/124-134; as-Saaffat 37/83-113.
7As-Saaffat, 37/88-89; al-Anbiya, 21/58.
13Nursi, B.S.Lemalar.Sözler Neşriyat, İstanbul, 2003, p.8-14.
14al-Anaam 6/154; al-Araf 7/150;al-Qasas 28/43.
15al-Araf 7/103-104; Yunus 10/75; al-Isra 17/101.
16al-Baqara 2/50; Yunus 10/90: Taha 20/60-71.
17Ash-Shuara 26/63; Ash-Shuara 26/52-59; ad-Dukhan 44/23.
18Al-Baqara 2/51, 92; an-Nisa 4/153; al-Araf 7/148, 152; Taha
19Al-Baqara 2/57; Araf 7/160; Taha 20/80; al-Maeda 5/2.
20Bilmen, Ö. Büyük İslam İlmihali. Emel Matbaacılık, Ankara. No date.
21Al-Anaam 6/86; Younus 10/98; al-Qalam 68/48.
22Nursi, B.S. Lemalar (Flashes). Sözler Neşriyat, 2003, p.5-7.
23Saff, 61/6; Aal-e-Imran 3/144; al-Ahzab 33/40; Muhammad 47/7; al-Fatih 48/29.
- How did the Bible change?
- 4. Belief in Prophets
- Were the books that were sent before the Quran (the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel) distorted and changed?
- What are the wisdoms behind the stories of Prophets?
- What are the Wisdoms Behind the Stories of Prophets?
- Sins and Repentance
- 10. Universality of the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad
- Will you summarize the life of Hazrat Yusuf?
- Prophet Ayyub [Job] (Peace be upon him)
- Should I follow Qur'an or Hadiths? Are the Sunnah and Hadiths binding? To what extent are hadiths reliable?